The Sandman: The Kindly Ones

I would pay all of the money I currently have (not a lot to be honest but you get my drift) to have a conversation with Neil Gaiman.  He must have the most fascinating mind to have come up with the stories he has.  I’m a huge fan of everything of his that I’ve encountered, but my favorite so far has to be The Sandman series.  It’s dark, funny, deep, scary, sad, basically I think I’ve finally found something that actually does encompass “all of the feels” as they say.  The Kindly Ones is not the first of the series.  It is, in fact, the ninth.  
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This was the longest one of the series and it felt very much like a victory lap.  Neil Gaiman and the Dream King together again, adventuring around to all their friends to say goodbye.  This is (as it tells you from the get go…no spoilers, I promise) the story of the Sandman’s death.  I actually had a hard time getting through some parts, because characters from every past story showed up in The Kindly Ones and I didn’t always remember their particular stories.  I’ve spent so much time between books that I occasionally had to check back in the other books understand some of the references.  I always recognized the characters and remembered whether their relationships were positive or negative but I sometimes needed more details than that.  I would not recommend picking this one up after having spent a lot of time away from the series as it might get confusing.

Having said that, I think that this book was a wonderful goodbye tour for the Dream King.  As Neil Gaiman points out at the end of the book most of the loose ends are tied up and some are not, but that’s just as it should be.  It was a satisfying read and on par with the rest of the series.  I believe the next book in the series is about what happens after (I suppose that’s true for next books in all series) and I can’t wait to see where it goes.  With dreams and with Neil Gaiman it never goes where I anticipate and it’s usually somehow better than I could imagine.

Common Place Book

On Writing and Reading

“Humans can no more live without telling themselves stories than you or I can kill ourselves by holding our breath.” -Frank McConnell in the Introduction to The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman

On Truth and Lies

“There is a madness needed to touch the Gods, yes, this is true.  Few mortals possess it, the willingness to step away from the protection of sanity.  To walk into the wild wood of madness.”

-The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman

On Desire

“It doesn’t matter that you never find it.  It’s the dreams that keep you going.”

-The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman

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